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Committing Ourselves to a Culture of Life.

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Romans 8:1-2

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Seven: Freedom and Fulfillment (Romans 8)

On January 6, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed Congress on the state of the war in Europe. Much of what he said that day has been forgotten. But at the close of his address, he said that he looked forward “to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.” He named them: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. These words are still remembered, even though their ideals have not yet been realized everywhere in the world.

Four items. Four freedoms. These are the things that Roosevelt said that every human deserves. He said that he looked forward to a world where these ideals would be cherished and demonstrated. Sadly, some 80 years later it seems that these ideals are the pipe dreams of a sentimental, simply, naive man. We live in a society where these ideals are under attack.
Freedom of speech has devolved into my right to defame, insult, denigrate, lie about, and generally disrespect anybody I want and not have to be concerned about things like others’ feelings
Freedom of worship has come to mean the “freedom” to worship “gods” that promote racism, hate and fear of the “other” If you are not exactly like or in line with them, you are less than scum.
Freedom from want has changed to the “freedom” from the responsibility to meet the needs of the poor and marginalized.
Freedom from fear has been so eroded that now we fear everything and everyone. I will never forget what I heard from a supporter of the former president, “Now I can say what I have been thinking!” Talking about immigration, and race relations. This new freedom is the Freedom to fear and be suspicious of anyone who “does not” , those who don’t look like us, dress like us, pray like us and do a whole lot of things that are not “like us”
At the root of every act of violence against one's neighbour there is a concession to the "thinking" of the evil one, the one who "was a murderer from the beginning" (Jn 8:44). As the Apostle John reminds us: "For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, and not be like Cain who was of the evil one and murdered his brother" (1 Jn 3:11-12). Cain's killing of his brother at the very dawn of history is thus a sad witness of how evil spreads with amazing speed: man's revolt against God in the earthly paradise is followed by the deadly combat of man against man.
In my experience working with prison inmates, I have come to recognize what causes people to commit crimes. these are the same reasons why we do the dirt that we do:
Blind Anger
Blind greed
Blind selfishness
Blind Hate
Blind destructiveness
Blind Self-destruction
Blind, because we are so absorbed with our own desires and agendas that we don’t see the damage we do to others.
Blind, because of our refusal to see consequences of our actions.
Blind because the devil, covers our eyes and whispers in our ears the lies that we use to justify our evil.
We don’t want to believe the truth of that old song:
“It’s me, it’s me, it’s me O Lord, Standing in the need of prayer...”
But Jesus!
Christ gives all of us a new opportunity to change from a culture of death and destruction to a culture of LIFE
A culture of life on the other hand brings new vision
Instead of anger, Seeing Peace
Instead of greed, Seeing Generosity
Instead of selfishness, Seeing Selflessness
instead of hate, Seeing Love
instead of destructiveness, Seeing Kindness, and community building
instead of self-destruction, Seeing Proper Self-Love
All encompassed by the phrase, “The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus...”

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,

Because He has anointed Me

To preach the gospel to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives

And recovery of sight to the blind,

To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD

Jesus has opened our eyes and set us free, but not for us to just skip unconcerned through the pearly gates; no Christ has set us free so that we can build a culture of life in our homes, in our communities, in our churches and everywhere we go.
Building a culture of life is saying “you matter to me, because you matter to God” to everybody. From the gutter to the governor’s mansion. you matter, we matter, all of us matter. We matter to God, we should matter to one another
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